Wild and Wonderful Monday!

Monday started out with a blog post putting Elizabeth Knox and her new book Faith Powered Profession on the radar of WhitbyForum readers. The need for such a book was underscored immediately by emails I received from women who have been searching for such a book. One woman reported continuing “to hear from Christian professional women that they really don’t fit in at church.”

They are going to love what Elizabeth has to say.

Further support for putting the topic Christian women in the workplace on the table came from a Her.meneutics post, “A Casting Call for Leading Ladies,” in which Donna Hill, Vice President of Student Affairs at College of the Ouachitas, laments the lack of books addressing professional Christian women.  

“Since Christian women can and do hold leadership positions in secular organizations, the church should work to equip these women with biblical guidance on godly leadership principles. That doesn’t seem to be happening. Certainly, general Christian leadership books and classes are helpful, and I’m indebted to a handful of authors and teachers (all male) who have helped me navigate the leadership maze. But where are the women teaching women?”

I hope this means Elizabeth Knox’s entry into this void will reach a lot of readers and that there will be more books to come. 

Midday brought lunch and deep conversation with gifted photographer, writer, pastor, and new Redbud friend Dorothy Greco. It was the kind of conversation that goes deep fast and stays there and that will pick up where we left off the next time we meet.

Dorothy is another person who belongs on our radar. 

This upbeat tweet from Gail Dudley was waiting when I came home. She’s referencing FullFill’s current issue (full of great articles on Forgiveness) and my article, “Ezer-Warrior’s Won’t Back Down.”

Gail is Synergy’s interim CEO and another someone you should know.

Then this encouraging email from an ezer-mom who passes my books on to her daughter.

“I have to share with you a funny story about my daughter. She is in college and studying linguistics. She wants to be a Bible translator for Wycliffe. The man she is currently dating would like to serve alongside her, but more in a deacon/servant role. Such as working in construction, security, etc. with Wycliffe. My daughter’s pastor and wife are having a hard time figuring out how headship will work if my daughter has the primary job assignment. She told the man she is dating that her pastor and others in her church need them some Carolyn Custis James books.”

Topping it all off, the day was bracketed by two heart-stopping Red Sox victories, putting them within one game of winning the 2013 World Series and on their way back to Fenway Park.

Most people think I’m still in Massachusetts because our house hasn’t sold. That’s only half of the story.

The James Charm is on the line. As Frank explained recently to a friend,

“Well, I made it to Philly—although Carolyn has remained behind to sell the house and cheer the Red Sox to a world series victory. She is convinced she has the magic. One should not doubt her on this. Wherever we have lived the team has won—Dodgers, Phillies and Marlins! She is 3 for 3 and expecting to be 4 for 4 very soon.”

Go RedSox!

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6 Responses to Wild and Wonderful Monday!

  1. “My daughter’s pastor and wife are having a hard time figuring out how headship will work if my daughter has the primary job assignment.”

    That is wrong in so many ways, but what struck me immediately was the association between leadership and whoever has the most prestigious job and/or brings in the most money. Really? The man is the boss because his salary is larger? I should have turned down that raise because it kept my salary larger than my husband's? And when I left the workplace for my non-paying jobs at home, did I suddenly lose the leadership value I apparently had by earning more than he did? Is the CEO of a company more worthy to take on a church leadership position than a teacher, musician, engineer, or custodian? Dangerous ground there.

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  2. Oh, and while I think the troubles you are having selling your house, and your temporary-but-too-long separation from Frank, are too high a price to pay, Porter will be ever so grateful if you manage to lead the Red Sox to a World Series win.

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  3. Carolyn says:

    Trust me, I'm doing my best. These games are making everyone crazy. The stress is unbelievable. I can only imagine what it must be like for the players.

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  4. Katie Foth says:

    Hi, Carolyn! Thank you for the time and effort you spend thinking about these issues, researching, and sharing.

    God was always there in my life growing up (though I didn't always realize that), but He burst into my heart when I was in 8th grade at a Christian school. That's when I believed the good news of Christ dying to save me from my sins. I went on to attend Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, thinking I'd end up in full-time Christian service.

    Not so. I followed the traditional sequence upon graduation from college — marriage, children, move to support my husband's continuing education plans. After four years as a stay-at-home mom, I started working full-time when my children were 4, 3, and 6-months old. God gave me grace through those years to keep up with the demands of working, managing a household, and teaching 2-year-old Sunday school (23 years of that!).

    So much of what you're sharing resonates in my soul. I'm a para-professional — partly because of circumstances in the South (where we moved) but perhaps mostly because I let myself be bound by the strictures of my upbringing. I never thought through the issues to the extent you have (and others whose thoughts you share).

    Many times I felt as if I were an eagle yearning to soar the skies, but I couldn't because I was tethered by the rules and expectations that limit women in Christian circles. I struggled often with the fact that God made me a woman: God, why gift me with intelligence when I am not allowed to use that gift?

    The conclusion that brought me some comfort was that of the blind poet Milton: “They also serve, who only stand and wait.”

    At 57, I still work; I still wait; I still hope. Thank you, Carolyn, for a better understanding and reinforced hope.

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  5. Carolyn says:

    Katie, What a powerful comment! Your story hits a nerve with me and will I'm sure with many others. That in itself is a gift, as the struggles you describe can be lonely. I'm so grateful to hear from you that the content here is helpful and am glad you've engaged this discussion.

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  6. Katie Foth says:

    Thank you, Carolyn! The connection you are creating between women (sharing ideas and thoughts) is important to all women, but particularly so to mothers with full-time careers. Each day holds only so much time, and with managing family, work, and church, many of us feel forced to forgo friendships with other women (outside work-time friendships). No matter how wonderful a husband is, life can be lonely without such friendships and connections. I have enjoyed developing such friendships now that my children are grown, but I know that for many women, your words are food to their soul and spirit. I praise God for you!

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